Board of Regents Approves Coyle Contract Extension


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Board of Regents Approves Coyle Contract Extension

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a two-year contract extension for Director of Athletics Mark Coyle on Friday, Feb. 14, 2019. This amendment to Coyle's employment agreement keeps him under contract as the leader of Gopher Athletics through June 2026.

"Gopher Athletics has excelled under Director Coyle's leadership, not only winning in competition but, more importantly, setting records in the classroom and investing countless hours in community service," said University President Joan Gabel. "The visibility of those successes have positively reflected the ideals of the University, one of the most important contributions any athletics department can make. What Director Coyle and his team have accomplished gives me great confidence that his department will continue to deliver exceptional results."

Coyle was originally introduced as Director of Athletics on May 11, 2016. Since that time, Minnesota has won 11 regular-season conference championships and seven tournament titles. Six Gopher student-athletes have also won an individual national championship under Coyle's leadership.

Minnesota placed 20th out of 295 schools in the 2019 Division I Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup standings after ending 2018 in 19th place. The initiative ranks institutions that maintain a broad-based program and achieve success in many sports. Minnesota was one of only 14 schools to record consecutive top-20 finishes.

In the 2018-19 school year, Minnesota was the only Power 5 institution to achieve a winning record in every team sport. Among the highlights, the softball team advanced to the Women's College World Series for the first time ever and the men's basketball team competed in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years.

During the ongoing 2019-20 academic year, the volleyball team advanced to the Final Four for the third time in five years and the football team highlighted its first 11-win season since 1904 with top-10 wins against Penn State at home and versus Auburn in the Outback Bowl.

Minnesota's student-athletes have also ranked among the nation's best when it comes to academic achievement. The current department-wide GPA of 3.28 is the highest in school history and every sport posted a team GPA of 3.10 or better in the recent fall semester. This is the fourth-straight semester that the cumulative GPA has increased and it is also the first time that every program is above a 3.00. Minnesota's current graduation success rate of 94 percent is the highest it has ever been and this past fall there were 110 Gophers named Academic All-Big Ten.

"I am incredibly grateful for the support of President Gabel and the Board of Regents," said Coyle. "Their belief and trust in our department has been tremendous and is a significant reason why we have been successful. Our student-athletes continue to perform at high levels in competition and in the classroom, and I am continually impressed by their collective desire to become the best students and teammates they can be. We also have fantastic coaches who stress the importance of being a well-rounded student-athlete and have a keen focus on preparing our students for success after college. I also want to thank our staff of 275 full-time employees. They are the backbone of our department and their dedication and hard work is the reason why we are one of the best athletic departments in the country."

Coyle returned to Minnesota in 2016 after overseeing the marketing department from 2001 to 2005. In between, Coyle was deputy athletics director at Kentucky before serving as athletics director at Boise State and Syracuse.

Go Gophers!!
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